Biology BSc (Hons)

4 years including placement year, starting in September 2018

Develop the knowledge and skills to play a vital role as a practical scientist and interpreter of modern bioscience.

Gain a broad range of skills and knowledge by learning about life on all scales, from the molecular to global ecosystems. You’ll study different topics in modern biosciences, ranging from molecular biology to ecosystems, as well as having the option to focus on a few specific areas.

In the first two years, you’ll gain a foundation in the biosciences through a set of core units. You’ll also gain hands-on experience of practical scientific techniques in dedicated undergraduate laboratories. In the final year, you’ll undertake a research project, giving you first-hand experience as a researcher and the opportunity to contribute to some of the world-leading research in the Department.

Specialist teaching is influenced by the expertise of academics in the Department and include areas such as cell biology, biodiversity and ecology, evolutionary biology, genomics, plant science, microbiology and immunology. World-leading research is also carried out in our new Milner Centre for Evolution, the UK’s first ever centre for evolutionary biology research.

You’ll graduate with a solid foundation for further study or graduate roles where a broader knowledge of biosciences is needed. The academic and key skills you develop will also prepare you for a wide range of other careers.

There are lots of reasons to study biosciences at Bath. Read our top 5.

Teaching

You’ll learn from researchers who specialise in different areas of the biosciences, including cell and developmental biology, evolution and biodiversity, infection and immunity, and medical and industrial biotechnology. Their international collaborations and interdisciplinary research activities feed directly into undergraduate teaching and contribute to your learning experience.

Facilities

You will undertake practical classes in our well-equipped teaching laboratories, and will have access to specialist technology in a dedicated computer laboratory for bioinformatics. You’ll be supported during your studies by regular small group tutorials and one-to-one meetings with a Personal Tutor. 91% of biosciences students agreed they were able to contact staff when they needed to (National Student Survey 2017).

Careers

Our graduates are highly sought after. We’re ranked top ten for graduate prospects in the Complete University Guide 2018.

You will develop the knowledge and skills enabling you to work in a variety of fields. These could include industries such as pharmaceutical, education, environment and biotechnology. You’ll also be well suited to roles in agricultural, medical and chemical laboratories. Many of our graduates choose to go on to postgraduate study in preparation for academic or industry-based research careers.

The range of skills developed whilst taking a biosciences degree equips you for many other graduate careers, for example, business management and science teaching.

Find out more about what our graduates go on to do.

Course structure

This course lasts 4 years. It starts in September 2018 and ends in 2022. Induction week starts on 24 September 2018.


Occasionally we make changes to our programmes in response to, for example, feedback from students, developments in research and the field of studies, and the requirements of accrediting bodies. You will be advised of any significant changes to the advertised programme, in accordance with our Terms and Conditions.

Units

At Bath, our courses are made up of units of study. Compulsory units cover core concepts that you'll need to understand as part of your degree programme. Some of our courses also offer the opportunity for you to study optional units these allow you to specialise in particular areas of knowledge that interest you.

As an undergraduate, you will be expected to take 60 credits (ECTS) in each academic year. These are usually split into 30 credits for each semester you study. Sixty credits are the equivalent of 1200 notional hours of study; this includes contact time with staff and your own independent learning.

Compulsory course units

These compulsory units are currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new units.

Optional course units

You'll be able to choose from a number of optional units in years 2 and 4. Here are some examples of the units our students are currently studying.

Placement


You may gain a competitive edge in the graduate job market by taking a placement year. You’ll work full-time in a role that might be undertaken by a graduate, where you’ll broaden your experience and transferable skills. 97% of biosciences students agreed their placement was valuable in helping their learning (National Student Survey 2017).

You may be able to choose from a wide range of roles to match your interests, from working in marketing for a pharmaceutical company to a lab-based role at a research institute. We have links with some of industry’s leading companies. Recent employers include Lilly, Field Studies Council, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Oxford Gene Technology, AstraZeneca, Genesys and LifeArc.

Placement opportunities can't be guaranteed but you will receive tailored support from our specialist team to help you secure a placement.

Read more about placements.

Learning and assessment


Learning

  • Laboratory sessions
  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops

Assessment

  • Coursework
  • Essay
  • Multiple choice examination
  • Practical work
  • Seminar
  • Written examination
  • Other

Typical assessment breakdown

This average assessment breakdown is based on a typical choice of optional units. Your specific unit choices will determine the actual breakdown of assessment methods that you will experience.

% written exam

% practical exam

% coursework

Year Written Exam Practical Exam Coursework
Year 1 80% 8% 12%
Year 2 71% 6% 23%
Year 3 0% 0% 100%
Year 4 47% 0% 53%

Typical contact time breakdown

This average contact time breakdown is based on a typical choice of optional units. Scheduled learning and teaching may include: lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops. Your optional unit choices will determine your actual personal contact hours.

% time in scheduled learning and teaching

% time in independent study

% time in placement/year abroad

Year Scheduled Independent Placement
Year 1 30% 70% 0%
Year 2 24% 76% 0%
Year 3 0% 0% 100%
Year 4 26% 74% 0%
Ellie McMullen
“The Biology course has really opened my eyes to the number of opportunities available to me once I graduate. Being taught by some of the top researchers in their fields has been truly inspiring.”
Ellie McMullen BSc Biology including placement year (2017)

Entry requirements


Your application, especially your personal statement, should demonstrate your enthusiasm for studying biology. This might include relevant reading, voluntary or work experience, areas of interest from your current studies or other relevant extra-curricular and co-curricular activities. When describing your experiences you should reflect on what you have learnt from them, how they have influenced your development or how they are relevant to your future studies.

You will need a strong performance in Biology and a second science or mathematics subject as part of your entry qualifications. The second subject might be:

  • Chemistry
  • Electronics
  • Environmental Science
  • Food Science or Food Technology
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • Mathematics or Further Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Statistics

If you are taking A levels, we may be unable to consider an A level in your own language (unless it is English or Welsh). We do not accept A levels in General Studies. If you are taking a GCE A level in a science subject, you will need to pass any separate science practical endorsement.

Origin of qualifications

Select the country where your qualification comes from.

British qualifications

A level Typical offer

AAA or A*AB

AAA or A*AB including A in Biology and an A in a second science or mathematics subject.

The second essential subject can be one of the following: Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, Geography, Psychology, Further Mathematics, Environmental Science/Studies, Food Science (or Food Technology), Electronics, Geology, Statistics.

A level subjects that will not be considered in your application

A level General Studies will not be considered. We may be unable to consider an A level in your own language (unless it is English or Welsh).

A level Alternative offer

AAB

AAB including grade A in Biology and a second science or mathematics subject plus one of the following:

  • grade A in an EPQ
  • grade B in the Welsh Bacc Skills Challenge Certificate
  • grade M1 in Cambridge Pre-U Global Perspectives

Students presenting with one of the above project qualifications should receive both the typical offer and the alternative.

The second essential subject can be one of the following:

  • Chemistry
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Geography
  • Psychology
  • Further Mathematics
  • Environmental Science/Studies
  • Food Science (or Food Technology)
  • Electronics
  • Geology
  • Statistics

A level subjects that will not be considered in your application

A level General Studies will not be considered. We may be unable to consider an A level in your own language (unless it is English or Welsh).

Typical offers for other qualifications

International Baccalaureate

36 points overall and 6, 6, 6 or 7, 6, 5 in three Higher Level subjects including 6 in HL Biology and a second HL science or mathematics subject.

Access to HE Diploma

Typical offer:
Pass the Access to HE Diploma (in Science or Science and Engineering), with at least 36 credits achieved at Distinction and 3 credits achieved at Merit or above. This must include at least 30 credits achieved at Distinction from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) units, of which at least 12 credits must be from Biology units.

BTEC

Typical offer:
D*DD in the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF)/BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (RQF).

We are able to consider the above qualifications in Applied Science. It is important that you are covering enough of our essential and preferred optional units to make sure that you have sufficient Biology and Chemistry/Mathematics preparation for our course. Please contact us to discuss the suitability of your optional units before making an application. 

You must also have achieved a grade B or 6 in GCSE Mathematics. If you are taking ‘Unit 7: Mathematical Calculations for Science’ as part of your BTEC (QCF) qualification, then we can consider you with a grade C in GCSE Mathematics.

See the ‘Combinations of qualifications’ section for information about combinations of A level and BTEC qualifications that we can consider.

Cambridge Pre-U

Typical offer:
D3, D3, D3 or D2, D3, M1 including grade D3 in Biology and a second science or mathematics subject.

Alternative offer:
D3, D3, M1 including grade D3 in Biology and a second science or mathematics subject plus one of the following:

  • grade A in an EPQ
  • grade B in the Welsh Baccalaureate Skills Challenge Certificate
  • grade M1 in Cambridge Pre-U Global Perspectives

If you apply with one of the above project qualifications you should receive both the typical and alternative offer.

Open University Credits

Typical offer:
Pass units worth 120 credits, including a minimum of a Pass 2 with 75% in a relevant Level 2 Biology unit.

Typically, we would be looking for you to have studied units worth at least 120 credits, including at least 30 credits at Level 2. We would ideally be looking for you to be taking units including S104: Exploring Science and Level 2 unit/s in Biology

This information is a guide and all students applying with Open University Credits will be considered on a case-by-case basis. We will consider your application carefully and take note of any previous qualifications or relevant work experience. We may be able to consider alternative units to those listed. Please contact us to discuss your profile.

Please note that taking OU credits may be counted as degree-level study by the Student Loans Company and therefore may be counted as previous study and have an impact on your ability to access student loans/grants for the entirety of your chosen degree. We recommend that you discuss this in detail with the SLC before following this progression route to the University of Bath.

Scottish Highers

AA in Advanced Highers including Biology and a second science or mathematics subject plus AAAAB in Scottish Highers. The second essential subject can be one of the following: Chemistry, Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Physics, Geography or Psychology.

Combinations of qualifications

Your application will be considered individually based on the particular combination of qualifications and subjects that you are taking.

We can consider combinations of accepted qualifications, such as A levels and a BTEC:

  • AA in A level Biology and a second science or mathematics subject plus D in the BTEC Subsidiary Diploma (QCF)/National Extended Certificate (RQF) OR the Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma (QCF)/Cambridge Technical Extended Certificate (RQF). We cannot consider BTEC qualifications in Applied Science alongside Biology and a second science or mathematics subject
  • AA at A level plus D3 in a Pre-U Principal Subject including Biology and a second science or mathematics subject
  • AA at A level plus 6 in an IB HL Certificate including Biology and a second science or mathematics subject. While we do not consider the IB Careers Programme for entry, we are able to consider the combinations of components that are typically offered by this route, such as BTEC and IB HL Certificate combinations
  • AA in A level Biology and a second science or mathematics subject plus A in the IFS Diploma in Financial Studies

We can also consider combinations that are not listed and that do not include A levels. You should read the information about essential and preferred subjects and subject combinations. We cannot consider different qualifications in the same subject area.

GCSE requirements

GCSE Mathematics grade C or 4 plus GCSE English grade C or 4 (or equivalent from category C).

English language requirements

Category C

You will normally need one of the following:

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall with no less than 6.0 in all components
  • The Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic): 62 with no less than 59 in any element
  • Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE): 184 with no less than 175 in all elements
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE): 184 with no less than 175 in all elements
  • TOEFL IBT: 90 overall with a minimum 21 in all 4 components

If you studied for UK qualifications in English Language or English Literature, make sure you have the required grades for this course.

If you studied for English language qualifications from another country, make sure you have the required grades for this course.

Hong Kongese qualifications

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education

555 in Biology, a second science and a third elective subject OR 5*5 in Biology and a second elective subject plus 5* in core Mathematics and 5 in the Algebra and Calculus extended paper

English language requirements

Category C

You will normally need one of the following:

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall with no less than 6.0 in all components
  • The Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic): 62 with no less than 59 in any element
  • Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE): 184 with no less than 175 in all elements
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE): 184 with no less than 175 in all elements
  • TOEFL IBT: 90 overall with a minimum 21 in all 4 components

If you studied for UK qualifications in English Language or English Literature, make sure you have the required grades for this course.

If you studied for English language qualifications from another country, make sure you have the required grades for this course.

French qualifications

French Baccalaureate

15 overall with 15 in Biology (Life & Earth Sciences) and 15 in either Mathematics or Physics/Chemistry.

Option Internationale Baccalaureate (OIB)

14 overall with 15 in Biology (Life & Earth Sciences) and 15 in either Mathematics or Physics/Chemistry.

English language requirements

Category C

You will normally need one of the following:

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall with no less than 6.0 in all components
  • The Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic): 62 with no less than 59 in any element
  • Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE): 184 with no less than 175 in all elements
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE): 184 with no less than 175 in all elements
  • TOEFL IBT: 90 overall with a minimum 21 in all 4 components

If you studied for UK qualifications in English Language or English Literature, make sure you have the required grades for this course.

If you studied for English language qualifications from another country, make sure you have the required grades for this course.

European qualifications

European Baccalaureate

82% overall with 8.5 in Biology (4 periods) and one of Chemistry (4 periods), Geography (4 periods), Mathematics (5 periods) or Physics (4 periods).

English language requirements

Category C

You will normally need one of the following:

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall with no less than 6.0 in all components
  • The Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic): 62 with no less than 59 in any element
  • Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE): 184 with no less than 175 in all elements
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE): 184 with no less than 175 in all elements
  • TOEFL IBT: 90 overall with a minimum 21 in all 4 components

If you studied for UK qualifications in English Language or English Literature, make sure you have the required grades for this course.

If you studied for English language qualifications from another country, make sure you have the required grades for this course.

Indian qualifications

Higher Secondary School Certificate (12th Standard)

Average of 80% across 4 subjects with 85% in either Biology and one of Agriculture, Chemistry, Computer Science, Geography, Mathematics, Physics or Psychology.

We do not accept Physical Education as one of these 4 subjects.

These requirements are for the CBSE, HSSC and ISC boards. Please contact us if you are taking this qualification with a different board.

English language requirements

Category C

You will normally need one of the following:

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall with no less than 6.0 in all components
  • The Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic): 62 with no less than 59 in any element
  • Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE): 184 with no less than 175 in all elements
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE): 184 with no less than 175 in all elements
  • TOEFL IBT: 90 overall with a minimum 21 in all 4 components

If you studied for UK qualifications in English Language or English Literature, make sure you have the required grades for this course.

If you studied for English language qualifications from another country, make sure you have the required grades for this course.

American qualifications

Advanced Placement Tests

5, 5, 5 in 3 APs including Biology and one of Calculus BC, Chemistry, Environmental Science, any AP Physics or Statistics.

We accept no more than one Calculus AP as one of these 3 subjects.

You will also need to pass your High School Diploma and achieve an ACT score of 30 or SATR scores of 720 in both Mathematics and Evidence based Reading and Writing.

SAT Subject Tests

We do not accept SAT Subject Tests for direct entry to our degrees.

English language requirements

Category C

You will normally need one of the following:

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall with no less than 6.0 in all components
  • The Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic): 62 with no less than 59 in any element
  • Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE): 184 with no less than 175 in all elements
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE): 184 with no less than 175 in all elements
  • TOEFL IBT: 90 overall with a minimum 21 in all 4 components

If you studied for UK qualifications in English Language or English Literature, make sure you have the required grades for this course.

If you studied for English language qualifications from another country, make sure you have the required grades for this course.

Irish qualifications

Irish Leaving Certificate

H1, H1, H2, H2, H3, H3 in 6 Irish Leaving Certificates with H1, H2 in Biology and one other mathematics or science subject.

English language requirements

Category C

You will normally need one of the following:

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall with no less than 6.0 in all components
  • The Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic): 62 with no less than 59 in any element
  • Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE): 184 with no less than 175 in all elements
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE): 184 with no less than 175 in all elements
  • TOEFL IBT: 90 overall with a minimum 21 in all 4 components

If you studied for UK qualifications in English Language or English Literature, make sure you have the required grades for this course.

If you studied for English language qualifications from another country, make sure you have the required grades for this course.

Singaporean qualifications

Singapore A levels

AAA in 3 H2 level subjects including Biology and one other mathematics or science subject.

Polytechnic Diploma (3 years)

3.4 overall in Biotechnology or Biomedical Science with a minimum B+ in Biology and one other science module.

We are unable to consider applications for entry into year 2 with a Polytechnic Diploma for this degree.

English language requirements

Category C

You will normally need one of the following:

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall with no less than 6.0 in all components
  • The Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic): 62 with no less than 59 in any element
  • Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE): 184 with no less than 175 in all elements
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE): 184 with no less than 175 in all elements
  • TOEFL IBT: 90 overall with a minimum 21 in all 4 components

If you studied for UK qualifications in English Language or English Literature, make sure you have the required grades for this course.

If you studied for English language qualifications from another country, make sure you have the required grades for this course.

Turkish qualifications

Lise Bitirme Diplomasi

CGPA of 80% with 85% in Biology plus one other science or mathematics subject from the final year.

English language requirements

Category C

You will normally need one of the following:

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall with no less than 6.0 in all components
  • The Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic): 62 with no less than 59 in any element
  • Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE): 184 with no less than 175 in all elements
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE): 184 with no less than 175 in all elements
  • TOEFL IBT: 90 overall with a minimum 21 in all 4 components

If you studied for UK qualifications in English Language or English Literature, make sure you have the required grades for this course.

If you studied for English language qualifications from another country, make sure you have the required grades for this course.

Greek qualifications

Apolytirion

19 in the Apolytirion, plus AA in two A levels including Biology and a second mathematics or science subject.

We cannot accept the Apolytirion unless it is studied alongside A levels. We do not accept Pan Hellenic examinations in place of an A level.

English language requirements

Category C

You will normally need one of the following:

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall with no less than 6.0 in all components
  • The Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic): 62 with no less than 59 in any element
  • Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE): 184 with no less than 175 in all elements
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE): 184 with no less than 175 in all elements
  • TOEFL IBT: 90 overall with a minimum 21 in all 4 components

If you studied for UK qualifications in English Language or English Literature, make sure you have the required grades for this course.

If you studied for English language qualifications from another country, make sure you have the required grades for this course.

Cypriot qualifications

Apolytirion

19 in the Apolytirion, plus AA in two A levels including Biology and a second mathematics or science subject.

We cannot accept the Apolytirion unless it is studied alongside A levels.

English language requirements

Category C

You will normally need one of the following:

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall with no less than 6.0 in all components
  • The Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic): 62 with no less than 59 in any element
  • Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE): 184 with no less than 175 in all elements
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE): 184 with no less than 175 in all elements
  • TOEFL IBT: 90 overall with a minimum 21 in all 4 components

If you studied for UK qualifications in English Language or English Literature, make sure you have the required grades for this course.

If you studied for English language qualifications from another country, make sure you have the required grades for this course.

Spanish qualifications

Titulo de Bachiller

A score of 9 overall with 9 in Biology and one other science or mathematics subject.

English language requirements

Category C

You will normally need one of the following:

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall with no less than 6.0 in all components
  • The Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic): 62 with no less than 59 in any element
  • Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE): 184 with no less than 175 in all elements
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE): 184 with no less than 175 in all elements
  • TOEFL IBT: 90 overall with a minimum 21 in all 4 components

If you studied for UK qualifications in English Language or English Literature, make sure you have the required grades for this course.

If you studied for English language qualifications from another country, make sure you have the required grades for this course.

German qualifications

Abitur

1.4 overall with 13 in Biology and one other mathematics or science subject.

The required grades in Biology and another mathematics or science subject must be achieved in your final examinations if you take them. If you do not take one of these subjects in your final examinations, you will need an average grade across 4 semesters in it.

English language requirements

Category C

You will normally need one of the following:

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall with no less than 6.0 in all components
  • The Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic): 62 with no less than 59 in any element
  • Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE): 184 with no less than 175 in all elements
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE): 184 with no less than 175 in all elements
  • TOEFL IBT: 90 overall with a minimum 21 in all 4 components

If you studied for UK qualifications in English Language or English Literature, make sure you have the required grades for this course.

If you studied for English language qualifications from another country, make sure you have the required grades for this course.

Fees and funding


Fees

Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on whether you are a Home, EU, Island or Overseas student.

Learn how we decide fee status

Tuition fees

See the most recent fees for undergraduate courses.

Placement fees

Placement fees vary

You will normally pay a reduced tuition fee while on a placement period or studying abroad. Find out more about placement fees and study abroad fees.

Extra costs

Optional field course to Gower, South Wales: £300, or to Algarve, Portugal: £330, payable during the first semester of the second year. If you are in receipt of a University of Bath bursary these charges will be waived.

How to pay

Tuition fee loans

If you are studying an undergraduate course, you may be able to take out a loan for your tuition fees and living costs.

Read more about tuition fee loans

Scholarships and bursaries

You could be considered for a bursary or scholarship to help you study at Bath. This is in addition to your student loan and you do not have to pay it back.

Read more about bursaries and scholarships

Other payment options

You can pay your tuition fees by Direct Debit, debit card, credit card, cheque, bank transfer or cash. You may also be eligible for a student loan to help you pay your fees.

Read more about your payment options

Budgeting

You will need to budget at least £100 for the cost of photocopying, printing and binding. You will also need to budget for the cost of text books.

Some courses involve visits away from campus and you may be required to pay some or all of the costs of travel, accommodation and food and drink.

If you’re on a placement, you’re responsible for your own travel, accommodation and living costs. You should also consider the financial implications if you go on an unpaid or overseas placement.

Application information



Selection process

We will usually assess you based on your UCAS application. Very exceptionally we may invite you to an interview if you have circumstances we cannot assess from an application alone.

Course enquiries


Apply for this course through UCAS.

Apply Now